OLA 2011


Wednesday, February 2

Meet me in the Middle: Strategies and Solutions for Successful Middle Management
Joan Frye Williams, Library Consultant and Futurist; George Needham, Library Consultant and Strategist

If you ever have the opportunity to attend an event with these dynamic and passionate speakers, don't miss it. This full day session focussed on the rewards and challenges of the critical role of leading from the middle in public libraries. Needham and Williams used the morning to clarify roles and responsibilities, described techniques to become more effective, and introduced the concept of Appreciative Inquiry. The afternoon session took an "unconference" approach, where participants set the agenda for group discussions.

Among the nuggets to ponder from the day: we're very good at keeping track of our stock, but not our users, and should build customer relationships for repeat business; the perils of the pit-dwellers; look outside libraries for ideas; treat exceptions as exceptions, rather than as roadblocks; the pyramid of: principles, outcomes and techniques, the former being what we should go the wall for, the latter merely a means to an end.

Thursday, February 3

Session #300 Un-dangerous Liaisons with Joan Frye Williams and George Needham.

This session was on collaboration. Other staff had highly recommended these dynamic presenters. You can check out their blog at http://georgeandjoan.com. The presentation was very worthwhile, and delivered some key considerations for working with partner organizations.

Keep in mind that we have a certain (professional) way of doing things that partners may not. We like to feel in control.

Libraries have a culture of scarcity and rationing. We need to recognize that partnerships take resources and result in increased workload, and assign resources. Also plan what to do if the program is very successful!

Effective Partnerships
• Know community – who the users are, future trends, dynamics, forecasts, etc.
• Know what you are already doing (really doing, not just saying). This is what the partners know
• Who are your current partners (evaluate which partnerships are working and not working)
• Assign a time frame, number of staff, patters of success. San Francisco Library has a database and will share it http://yoursfpublicschools.org/2010/09/20/sfusd-and-the-san-francisco-public-library-%E2%80%93-partners-for-life-long-learning/

Management Expectations
• What is their definition of success – give examples to copy
• What are you able to negotiate / offer in the line of resources? Know your assets.

• Libraries were created when books were expensive, information was scarce and time was limitless
• Now information is everywhere. Don’t make it difficult to access
• Libraries have facilities that are open long hours, aren’t restricted, staff, etc.
• Highlight assets instead of always looking at our deficits

Consider Your Community
• Who do you want to work with
• Look for organizations that work well with other, that make things happen
• Consider who are key players – individuals connected to the grid

The difficult/traditional methods of Partnerships
1. Good Idea
2. Plan (grant application)
3. Connect (find someone to plug in)
Easier method
1. Make connection first – civic minded partner. Come up with idea together, brain storm, something can both be excited about
2. Get Idea
3. Plan

Make connections ahead of time for when you need them. (MP, schools, local candidates, town, media, etc.)

People who already know us are likely to see us as partners.
Keep focus local – what matters, is needed, is distinctive, ownership & buy-in

Look beyond usual suspects (schools, parents, faith groups, seniors)
Not necessarily “info” related issues, but “community”
Easier than merging with close minded organizations

Use Social Networks to discover potential partners (lurk for a while)
Use groups that are already out there

Focus on what you share
• Current users/ member
• Target audiences
• Neighbourhoods (downtown or business associations, Brooklin)
• Common funding sources – can be politically savvy in appearance to funders, but can be threatening to each other
• Common challenges – helps get the word out
• Desired similar outcomes (start of relationship)

Don’t try to turn partners into librarians. You aren’t educating them on everything we do. They don’t have to be like us. (Attitudes are often that we have nothing in common; nothing to learn from them).

Same Audience or overlapping
Same Outcome
Different Assets
Different techniques

It doesn’t have o be a long term relationship
Glance – sign up for their newsletter, attend events anonymously
Date – 1 single event with no further commitment
Engagement – define length of time and when to revisit

Ingredients for Success
• Someone must be in charge of making it happen (action and responsibility). Don’t leave to fate.
• Shared purpose – statement
• Clear objectives
• Frequent communication – stay in touch
• Shared sense of humour (for when things get tough)

Convince others to support project
• Link to something they care about (mission, benefits
• Process (results, etc.)

Finding Time
• Might have to cut other things out
• Otherwise making the project a low priority and it won’t move forward

Build on Documented Success
• To show other groups (blogs, illustrate, vision, visualize)
• Hosting events, etc., analogies
• Paint end state, not process to get there.
• Don’t oversell (just benefits for community)
• Figure out some small successes that come early (first month). Then participants will be heartened to keep going. Will be easier to get commitments

Things will go wrong/ change
• All in the same boat, keep perspective
• Will test partnership
• Better served to work together – not blaming
• Keep eye on long-term goal, adjust (rather than the project being doomed.)

• Can extend work/ market
• Good for public relations
• Creates advocates

Session 308- Googling Your Family History

The purpose of this session was to make library workers and users aware of Google products that may help with genealogical research. It was run by Alastair Neely, the Branch Supervisor at the London Public Library.

Google Accounts
Alastair suggests users create a Google account to take full advantage of the many applications that Google offers. Users also may find the iGoogle page to be useful, which is kind of a personal Google homepage where applications and other Google features can be arranged.

Advanced Search
One tip Alastair suggested when looking on Google for genealogical documents is to use an advanced search. While here, users can specify a file type to search. He says to try using keywords in conjunction with this file type search option, using the file type “.ged”, which is a file extension for many genealogical documents. Also, to avoid getting an overwhelming number of results, it can be useful to specify in the advanced search which web site or domain to search within. Thus, if a genealogical researcher knows of a good genealogy website, he/she can type this into the “Search within a site or domain” field and find results that are more specific.

Generally, Alastair suggests when using Google for researching genealogy, to always use the advanced search, since the results will be more accurate and keywords can be more easily strung together.

Researchers who are doing a lot of extensive research with Google might also find the “not yet visited” option useful, too. Users need an account to enable this option, and what it does is filters out web pages that the user has already visited in their web history. This way, the user is able to find only new results for their search.

Google Alerts
Google alerts is a good way to keep up-to-date with new material on the web that is of interest to the user. Enabling this application means that every time a specified search term or phrase shows up on a web page, Google will send an email to the user to let him/her know. Users can have as many Google alerts as is desired, and essentially permits the Google database to help with research automatically.

Google News
Google news can be accessed via a tab on the main Google search page, which allows users to search keywords and receive newspaper and news website results only. Google news always has current news available, but genealogists might be interested in some of the older news articles that are indexed. Notably, there are old issues of the New York Times available, and while there are other newspapers that have archived issues, this service may have a fee associated. There are some Canadian newspapers indexed, although not all newspapers have the full-text indexed; sometimes only headlines and major keywords.

Google Translations
For genealogists who are looking at foreign documents, Google translations might be of use. Users simply type in or copy/paste text into the word box, and the language is automatically detected (can also be selected manually) and then can be translated into English.

Is an online photo bucket owned by Google which users can download freely. Users can upload, organize and share photos with others, and some of these might be older photos that genealogists would find useful for their research.

Other Resources

Andrea B

New Technology Benchmarks for Ontario's Public Libraries
Session #316 Frances Stocker, Kestrel Information Services, Elise C. Cole, Oakville PL

Frances and Elise provided a review of the 5th Edition of the Ontario Public Library Guidelines which introduces section #7 - Use of Technology. The Ontario Public Library Guidelines Monitoring and Accreditation Council released the 5th edition in 2010. A comprehensive revision of the Guidelines is scheduled to be published early in 2012.

The new section on Use of Technology covers policy, planning and administration, communication and computer networks, equipment, library software, library website and web-based services and staffing for IT.
The Ontario Public Library Guidelines program provides an accreditation process to recognize the achievement of public libraries that meet the program's requirements. The Guidelines offer voluntary standards that individual public libraries can choose to follow or exceed, regardless of whether or not they decide to pursue accreditation.

An accreditation could benefit a library by enhancing its profile and reputation. It also let's funding bodies know that the library is using public dollars wisely.

The 5th edition of the Guidelines is available on the [http://www.fopl.ca/OntarioPublicLibrariesMonitoringandAccreditationCouncil/]


Session #316- New Technology Benchmarks for Ontario's Public Libraries- Presented by Elise C. Cole: Vice Chair of Ontario Public Library Guidelines Council, Teen Librarian and AskUs Coordinator at Oakville Public Library & Frances Stocker: MCLIP- Principal, Kestrel Information Services
(Submitted by: Sandra Walters)

This session focused on the new guidelines that provide every Ontario public library with well-researched benchmarks for the provision and use of technology in the contemporary public library. The presenters also provided a brief overview of the results of a province-wide survey on technology use in Ontario's public libraries conducted in summer 2010 will also be presented.

Research findings:

History of the Guidelines:
•evolved from 1990 “One Place to Look” Ontario Public Libraries Strategic Plan- Strategic Directions Council (SDC) created
•“A Call to Action” 1996
•5th edition of Terms of Reference and Comprehensive IT guidelines released in Nov 2010. Available online: www.fopl.ca
•Accreditation: allows libraries to match themselves against standard guidelines
•6th edition planned for next Super Conference 2012

Benefits of accreditation: demonstrates effective use of public funds; positive impact on library's profile in the community; library meets provincial standards
•over 30 Ontario public libraries are accredited

Goals of the Project for libraries:
•provide measurable benchmarks
•focus on tools not content
•reflect current library technology trends and the general technology environment
•addresses known technology related concerns
•provide a process for achieving/maintaining service

•ILS development
•Website development and remote access to services
•equipment maintenance and troubleshooting
•provision in branches
•social media
•use of eLearning tools (for both staff training and user education)


•broadband patchy outside urban areas
•high expectations

Support for technology and skilled staff:
•area of concern
•case-making for library technology needs

Social media:
•low priority for many libraries
•positive approach where need perceived and/or staff interest

Tech trends:
•Web 3.0 / symantic web
•open source software
•dynamic content
•consumer technology and expectations
•mobile technology
•e-books and e-readers
•e-Learning and blended learning
•technology use in the work place (cloud etc.)
•pace of change and its impact on setting guidelines

Essential elements include:
•public internet computers/access
•stable networks
•user education
•workplace software + training
•tech support
•collaborations and partnerships

Overall, I found this session to be interested although not what I had been expecting from the session overview. It was interesting to hear examples of the guidelines as well as to learn about the challenges of rural libraries.

Session # 416 - Multilingual Online Services for Libraries

Presented by Lora Bauicco, Westmount PL and Alexandra Yarrow, Ottawa PL
Adaptation of online presence for non-English speakers. This session looked at how websites can address a multilingual community, serving all customers no matter what language they speak.

This session provided some good resources http://delicious.com/multibiblio and best practices, but ultimately it addressed bi-lingual websites and online services, instead of multilingual. They translated most text and the catalogue, something that isn’t possible to do with multiple languages.

The presenters made the point that multilingual services can be a bit of a vicious circle. Lack of service leads to lack of demand, etc. They suggested focusing on local community and engaging customers outside the library (store front or kiosk libraries, etc). They suggested looking at other industries such as tourism for examples of how they deliver information in other languages.

Regarding an on-line presence the presenters indicated that there are widgets that can help attract Newcomers to library sites. (For example the Face Book widget is available in over 70 languages.

The presenters emphasized not burying multi-lingual information on the website, and to translate items on newcomer pages, print flyers, membership etc.

6 Tips
1. Use free stuff
There may be multilingual library phrases at other sites:
Australian Multilingual Glossary http://www2.sl.nsw.gov.au/multicultural/glossary/
Termiumplus Government of Canada – terms in French and Spanish
UN Multilingual terms database – http://unterm.un.org (daily updates)
Library Associations – Reforma (Spanish, Librarian’s toolkit) http://www.reforma.org/

2.Translate and Share
Put an invitation/welcome in Facebook, Google maps, community papers, etc… You don’t have to translate everything. (Logo; contact us; did you know that we have; or that you could… etc.

3.Find opportunities
Help users find you. Ensure listed in Google places – listings in different languages;
Flicker account (8 languages). Use an online dictionary, keep words short, test by searching and determine results.

4.Design with language in mind. Think about it before you build your website rather than fit it in afterward.

5.Use the catalogue
Make it easy to find the multi-lingual collection. Add local subject heading “materials en Espanola”. Use vernacular script – transliterate.

Bags, website, booklists, etc. There are other ways besides words to communicate. Art transcends language.

Considerations: Be aware that when working with other languages the work load is not just double, but expediential and that staff are often working outside their comfort zone.LM

Session #427- Marketing Public Libraries: Beyond Bookmarks- Presented by Melissa Cameron, Manager Marketing and Development, Oakville Public Library and Nicole Paterson, Manager Marketing and Communications, Burlington Public Library
(Submitted by: Sandra Walters)

This session focused on marketing concepts and ideas for smaller libraries that may have limited marketing budgets or ideas.

What is marketing and why is it important for libraries?
• Rising costs
• Decreasing budgets
• Technology advancements
• Economic and political climates

“We (librarians) have to attract, even compete, for our users; otherwise most of them will never make it to the library. A crucial factor librarians need to realize is that the minute a patron enters the library, his/her impression of the library is made by the greeting he/she receives.” Library Management Today

Components of a marketing plan: goal, target audience, tools, message/creative, implement, measure/evaluate.

Customer Research: Your current users are talking to you. How well are you listening?
•Are all staff responsible for ensuring customer feedback is handled: quickly, effectively, and then passed on to the right person?
•Is there a clear process for reviewing and responding to customer comments- no matter how they are received?
•How easy is it for a customer to find and email a real person from your website?
•How easy is it for a customer to reach a real person by phone?

Challenges for library websites:
•Developing functionality that customers expect
•Customers don’t distinguish between library catalogue and website- need to be integrated
•Balancing needs of the organization vs. needs of the customer
•Encouraging interactivity

Top 10 Strategies for Successful Social Media Marketing:
1. Be personal
2. Build lasting relationships
3. Place value and trust
4. Compose contacts
5. Enlist in groups
6. Do your part
7. Be seen
8. Declare yourself
9. Discuss honestly
10. Spam free is the way to be

•Leverage your assets because libraries are trusted and respected by the public. They also reach many, many people in the community.
•Businesses and organizations want to work with you- build relationships with the ones that fit your target audiences and goals
•Easy way to reach non-users
•Can help with all stages of marketing, from customer research through to evaluation

We Have An APP for That
Session #429 Mark Cornell, King Township PL, Tom Bentley, Brantford PL

Mark spoke about King Township's experience working with SirsiDynix's free Bookmyne iPhone application. In order to find out what would be worthwhile to include in their APP, they posted a survey on their website requesting feedback. Users wanted to renew, check the catalogue, check hours of operation, find the nearest Branch, and place holds on material.

The SirsiDynix Bookmyne works on Apple iPhone and iTouch. Libraries must be running SirsiDynix Symphony ILS with SD's web services. Users simply download the Bookmyne app from Apple's APP Store, select their library, and the connection is made. The APP provides the library user who is on-the-go with mobile device-friendly access to your library catalogue.

The Oshawa Public Library and the Toronto Public Library also use this neat APP.


Tom from the Brantford Public Library spoke about their experience with Boopsie for Libraries. Boopsie is a cross-platform system - BBerry, Android, iPhone, etc. Brandford received a $1,000.00 SOLS grant and a discount from Boopsie for the start-up costs. There is an annual fee associated with this service.

Using a Horizon utility, the catalogue information is uploaded weekly to an external web server. With Boopsie "smart prefix" searching, you don't have to type in the full text of your search to get relevant results. You only need to type in the first few words of your search term and the Boopsie search engine finds relevant information you may be looking for. The 'smart prefix' search simulates the way mobile users compose SMS messages using shortened words.

The library needed to create graphics, icons, a banner, splash image, and an iTunes store image and accompanying text.

Brantford had a soft launch of their mobile APP in November 2010. By January they had 700 users signed up. They promoted this service with press releases, in-house publications, a banner on the city's website, and long sleeved T-shirts promoting Overdrive worn by staff on Friday's and Saturdays.



Session 430 - Summer Reading is for Grown-Ups Too!

Summer Reading for Grown-Ups

This program was headed by Elizabeth Goldman, the CEO of the Perth and District Union public library and Caitlin Fralick, a Librarian at the Kingston Public library. Together, they presented information on the operation of their adult summer reading clubs, including how it was organized, presented, and received by the public.

Summer reading for adults has become increasingly popular over the years, especially amongst parents whose children are in summer reading programs. Holding an adult summer reading program is a great way to keep library users active and engaged over the summer months, and also a great way to develop a suite of other summer programs based on a theme. It’s also a great way to continue programming for adults throughout the summer, help adults set reading goals, and promote the use of the library’s collection.

According to Goldman, summer reading clubs for adults are very popular in the United States, and often the adult program runs simultaneous to the children’s one. Also, an adult summer reading program is fairly inexpensive to operate. However, there are some main points to consider when setting one up:

1) Budget: Is there money in the adult programming budget for a summer reading program?

2) Qualifying Tasks: Essentially means, what type of tasks need to be completed to progress through the program. Will there be a required reading list? Will the patron’s choose their own books and report on progress? Is progress measured by books read or pages read? Will tasks only include books, or will the program integrate other library resources such as movies, magazines, databases or utilizing reference staff?

3) Prizes: Will prizes be used as incentives to complete the program? If so, where will they come from? Both speakers point out that community partners are key in the area for prize donations. Both speakers also mention that bookmarks made in-house on MS Publisher were extremely well received by their participants.

4) Additional Programming: Will the reading program be a stand-alone program, or will it integrate other programs held throughout the summer, such as movie nights, seminars, discussion groups, etc? The speakers recommend getting in touch with any local university or colleges for potential speakers. The PR department is very knowledgeable at what instructors are more apt to do speaking, and who would be most appropriate.

5) In-Person or Online: Will the reading program be held in-person or virtually? If virtually, it is important to look into potential platforms to use. Will other websites be used to market the reading program, such as Facebook, LibraryThing, Twitter or the library website?

Both presenters talked about their experiences with their respective summer reading programs, one of which was held in-person and the other online. For the one that was held in-person, a gardening theme was chosen, and there was additional adult programming that went along with this theme including movie nights, seminars and outdoor activities. The staff got in touch with local businesses in the downtown area and secured small (mostly gardening related) prizes from stores, and even offered some small advertising space on the program flyer in return. For simplicity’s sake, they began and ended the adult summer reading program at the same time as the children’s one, and the theme was the same for both as well.

To log progress, a stamp and card system was used, whereby each participant had a small card that was kept at the reference desk. The participant received a log book in which they recorded their completed tasks, and then would visit the library and show the log to the reference staff, and they were given a certain number of stamps. With this particular program, non-book resources were integrated so that participants received 1 stamp for each DVD watched, 1 stamp for each magazine read, 3 stamps for each book read, 1 stamp for each reference question asked, and 1 stamp each time a database was used. To celebrate the end of the summer reading program, an ice cream social was held outside of the library.

Fralick set up Kingston PL’s summer reading program online. Using special “Evanced” software, logging of progress was done completely online. They modeled the adult summer reading program after their children’s one, which credited books, movies and attendance at a library program, and the theme “water” was used for both programs. Participants were able (but not required) to provide reviews of the books and movies they had borrowed, which allowed patrons to create a dialogue with one another. Reviews were also linked to catalogue records, for other participants to see copies available.

Prizes for Kingston’s summer reading program included coupons for the Friends of the Library annual book sale for the first 100 participants who signed up, and four $50 certificates for local stores and restaurants. Overall, the adult summer reading program was very cheap to implement, since an online platform was used.

Andrea B

Session 430 - Summer Reading is for Grown-Ups Too!

Why should kids have all of the fun? Libraries work hard to make summer reading a priority for kids, but what about the adults? I have fond memories of my times as a participant in WPL's summer reading program, and so I was excited to learn that many libraries are now expanding their reading programs in order to encompass adult readers as well. I think that this is a fantastic idea, and I think that summer reading programs are a great way to encourage adults to actively participate in their local library.

The speakers explained that these programs do not have to be difficult, nor do they have to be expensive. As well, in addition to rewarding participants for reading throughout the summer, they could also be encouraged to participate in the other programs that libraries offer.

One of the most interesting things that I learned during this session is that many libraries are now doing their summer reading clubs online. Although there may be some drawbacks to this method, such as the loss of face to face contact between patrons and staff, there are also plenty of benefits, especially when one considers how time consuming summer reading programs can be for staff. Online book clubs can also allow participants to interact more with each other, adding a new dimension to one's library experience.


Doing Away With Dewey
Session #625 Moe Hosseini-Ara, Debrorah Walker, Andrea Cecchetto, Penny Barclay, Fred Whitmarsh, Markham PL

The Markham Public Library's six branches serve a population of 300,000 with a 5,000,000+ circulation per year. Markham is an award winning library which follows a balanced scorecard strategic plan.

They have developed an innovative classification system called C3 that takes the best of how bookstores display materials and the best of how Dewey classifies materials. Markham offers their customers a browsing-friendly sysem of finding materials with lots of shelf signage and short, concise numbering and colour-coded labels on materials.

The shelving at the Markham Village Branch is on wheels. Mobile shelving provides more flexibility when it comes to promoting certain collections. They also utilize the retail "product placement" concept with the hold pickup shelves. Holds are located at the back of the library so that patrons travel past attractive displays to and from retrieving their holds. Roving is a perfect fit for a branch with C3.

It took Markham's Technical Services department 6 weeks to convert the Markham Village Branch's adult nonfiction collection to the new C3 system for their grand opening. They created new collection codes for the new merchandising categories and used the Horizon group editor to change the collection codes based on Dewey ranges. The merchandising labels were affixed based on the Dewey ranges. Markham does not place any labels on the front covers of any material (bookstore approach). The colour of the shelf signage matches the colour coded labels on the book spines. Markham's plan is to convert all collections, including fiction, to the C3 system.

The marc records were not altered, only the item records.

Atthe MVB, the C3 system has improved staff efficiences, especially for Pages. They find it easier to shelve a 4-digit numbered/colour-coded item than a traditional Dewey numbered item. Circulation has increased by 10% and patrons are borrowing more material per visit, especially adult nonfiction.

With front-facing displays, there is a limit on how large their collection can grow as shelving space is limited. Markham has a 'power wall' display with 2 top shelves for front facing items, and lower shelves that contain spine-out items that feed the power wall as items are removed and checked out.

The Markham Public Library is developing the C3 system as a commerial product that could be sold to libraries as a complete classification migration package. This could become a revenue generating product for the Library.



Session #626 Partnerships, Outreach and You with Bill Harmer, Director, Chelsea District Library, Michigan.

This library in Michigan was voted the best small library in America in 2008. Basically the presenter advocated turning the library into a community centre. He suggested that libraries are immune to mistrust, are well maintained and staffed. They have lots to offer partners in addition to space and resources.

Bill was big on promotional videos of the library, thinking like an entrepreneur, seeking out the movers and shakers in the community. He suggested finding someone to advocate for the library, and getting patrons to document their good comments. He believes “Talk – action = irrelevancy”. Some of his ideas included an Artist or Graphic Novelist in Residence in conjunction with local arts centre or community or a Literary Walk – a series of readings in downtown businesses.

The presenter suggested 7 steps: Brainstorm; Refine; Brainstorm potential partners; Approach partners; Work out details; Conduct project; Evaluate. LM

Session #626- Partnerships, Outreach, and You- Presented by Bill Harmer, Director, Chelsea District Library, Michigan
(Submitted by: Sandra Walters)

This session focused on how partnerships and outreach are increasingly important to the success of a library. The Chelsea District Library was named the best small library in America by the ALA. Bill Harmer discussed how his library became an essential part of the community and the different strategies he used to find this success.

Keys to Success:
1. Don’t ask for permission.
2. Form partnerships and take it to the streets.
3. Make it fun!

What do we need to do this?
•Partnerships and outreach mean: you are taking advantage of the creativity, networks, and expertise that exist in all communities; you are redefining the role of the library so no one considers it a frivolous or unnecessary service.
•It all comes down to money- ultimately partnerships and outreach are key to sustaining funding levels

Step #1: Brainstorm Projects- Get together with colleagues to discuss:
• I wish we could serve…
• I wish we could offer…
• I wish we could do a program on…
• I wish we could…
• Think outside the box

Step #2: Refine
• Prioritize your list of ideas
• Think of ideas for how to accomplish them
• Choose a project and make a realistic outline of how to accomplish it
• Review ideas with co-workers

Step #3: Brainstorm Partners
• Think about who to approach- think big!
• Think about how your proposal will benefit your potential partners

Step #4: Approach your Partners
• Select one project at a time to start with
• Be open to the partner’s ideas

Step #5: Work out the details
• Make sure the details are worked out and communicated in advance
• Consider what statistics or evaluations will be collected
• Joint publicity

Step #6: Conduct the program

Step #7: Evaluate
• How well did the program work?
• What can be learned from statistics?
• What kinds of comments were made?
• Should this be done again?
• How could it be improved?
• How did the timing work out?
• Would additional partners be helpful?

Friday, February 4

Session 1006 - Canada's Moonshot 2017 (Dean)
The title refers to a conference held last May. Participants discussed Canada's place in the digital world, namely the fact that we're falling behind other countries (particularly Asian ones) in categories like networking, infrastructure, innovation, research, and digital literacy. The conference discussed ways to improve our standing and regain leadership by 2017, our 150th anniversary. The session discussed the conference and touched on ways libraries can help meet the 2017 goal, which is to "make Canada a world leader in global, smart, ubitiquous and intelligent communities."

Presenter Karen Dubeau of the Newmarket PL Board suggested that libraries could take a leadership role - she likened us to Switzerland, in that we're a neutral and respected party, able to lead and create partnerships.

Suggested next steps for libraries include:

  • signing the iCanada declaration (http://www.cata.ca/Advocacy/iCanada/default.aspx)
  • advocate & educate
  • engage other libraries to work on intelligent communities
  • look at fibre/broadband infrastructure
  • look at what's happening in our community
  • take a leadership position

Session 1011 Perceptions of Public Library Services
Carol French, Partner; Heather Angel, Senior Consultant; Market Probe

I am on the FOPL Research Task Force that was responsible for coordinating the update of the Perceptions of Public Library Services survey. The original survey was done in 2000, with an update in 2005. Five years between studies allows one to see trends. French remarked that when studies are done monthly or quarterly, changes can been seen but those are "noise around the data," not true trends. The 2000 survey was trying to understand people's thoughts on the future of libraries, 2010 was looking at perceived value.

The content of this survey is somewhat different. There is more clarity around how the library is accessed and non-users were asked what libraries can do to attract them. French remarked, "Don't get your hopes up."

In 2005, the Internet was no longer seen as an emerging technology and the library was expanding its role as a provider of electronic information. Younger users were more positive towards the library than they had been in 2000 and there was no indication that the physical library was in any danger.

In 2010, Internet usage was almost universal. 26% had accessed the Internet at the public library - this number was higher 33% among those with lower incomes. 86% of respondents have Internet access at home. There was a slight, but not statistically significant, increase in the number of library card holders. This skews to a higher education and families with children. Physical visits to the library remained the same and electronic access has significantly increased in all areas. "Other language" groups stood out in a variety of ways that needs attention; 10% of respondents speak neither English nor French at home.

Use of the public library via Internet only stands at only 2% and there is a downward trend on using the library for getting information on a topic of personal interest. There is some indication that programs are getting more participation and 4/5 of the households use the library.

Our traditional services - lender of materials, reference centre, assistance in finding materials - remain the most valued and attract the most users. When the non-users were asked what we could do to attract them, 76% said "nothing" in different ways.


- the way people search for and receive information has changed dramatically
- to date these technological changes have had more impact on how people make use of the library rather than on library fundamentals
- the public library continues to be highly valued for its traditional roles and we cannot be complacent about the future
- people who are most optimistic about the library's future are those that are reflective of the past (55+)
- focus needs to be on retention and looking for new ways to serve evolving needs of our various user communities
- there may be some advantage in promoting affordability
- we should reinforce a family orientation
- when it comes to IT training, involve the younger generation - what do they want? can they help?
- need to pay attention to multicultural services
- user convenience - this is where we are vulnerable & need to improve mobile / virtual branch
- we need to decide if we are a product, a channel or a service
- we must recognize that we can not be all things to all people
Rhonda (& DBS)

Session 1204 Library Strategic Planning - A Lost Opportunity?
Jim Morgenstern, Principal, dmA Planning and Management Services

There are three distinct types of plans that organizations use and they all answer different questions:

Strategic Plan - What do we hope to accomplish by providing library services?
Master Plan - What do we need to do to provide those services?
Management Plan - How should we provide those services?

The strategic plan sets the overall direction. Some organizations skip over the strategic plan b/c it is much more difficult than a master plan. Master plans, however, do not contain a SWOT analysis or a vision. The strategic plan asks: Where are we now? How did we get here (and where will we be if we keep doing what we're doing)? Where do we want to go? That last one is the key question and strategic plans are about managing change.

In a SWOT analysis, the SW looks at the present and the OT needs to be future focused - way out in the future. The O (opportunities) come about because your world is about to change. Environmental scans are about future forecasting. The vision is the guiding light.

Strategic planning is the process by which guiding members of an organization envision its future and develop the necessary procedures and operations to achieve that future.

Why strategic plans fail:
- ineffective vision
- limited attention to future forecasting
- poor leadership
- inappropriate use of community input - if you use community input (which is more suited to a master plan than a strat plan), make sure you include non-users - they'll tell you about the threats
- not enough time committed to the planning process

What a vision is not:
- lazy - a slogan or tagline
- familiar - a description of your library today
- boring
- self-serving - focused on past accomplishments rather than future expectations

A vision statement needs to communicate a clear picture of a preferred future and strategic plans should lead public opinion, not follow it. Rhonda

Session # 1207 2:10 PM
Innovative Approaches in Library Service Delivery

Jane Dysart & Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones Associates Deane Zeaman, Federal Libraries Coordination Secretariat, Libraries & Archives Canada

This session promised to cover "a number of future services ideas" to "stimulate your thinking about the future of your own services. From e-libraries to physical spaces, digitization and technology to e-services, we have lots of examples to spark your thoughts about innovative services for the future." I guess I missed from the description that it was within the context of the federal government. What was presented as innovative (sharing information, pooling resources, digitizing, focusing on the user) are things that we take for granted as the just way we do business. Session slides at: http://bit.ly/rtKY85

Session 1218 - Marketing Virtual Library Services (Dean)
The title of the session is pretty much self-explanatory. There were three presenters - the first from Ryerson, the second from Kitchener Public and the third from Centennial College.

The Ryerson presenter spoke of things obvious and things innovative. The obvious included an AskON logo on their website and mention in school publications. The innovative included an 8-minute audio tour of the library via podcast, a separate website aimed at new students, an app (includes hours, access to catalogue and databases, ability to book study rooms & computers and a tour) and QR codes.

Ryerson is also subscribing to Summon, the Cadillac version of 360 (http://www.serialssolutions.com/summon/). Summon solves the issues I have with 360 (it has relevancy ranking and you can search for fulltext only), but it's pretty high-end expensive. As they launch Summon, Ryerson has created a marketing plan - staff training, a booth, workshops, orientation week demos, testimonials, material for liaison librarians and social media outreach.

Kitchener's presenter spoke mainly about their classroom presentations. They use presentation software (Cantasia (sp?) and Captivate) instead of doing online presentations. It was pretty effective - major use increases in the databases they showcased. We do something similar in local high schools. They also set up a booth at local events (Kitchener has a Word on the Street festival) - they use it to test drive new media products and will sign up people for new cards (including giving them cards without ID). Again, we do booths, but maybe we could offer more demos and stuff.

The info from the Centennial presenter was unfortunately not useful. She talked about traditional vs. non-traditional marketing (with lengthy definitions) and little about useful real-world examples. They display the AskON logo on their website - impressive!

Session # 1300 3:45 PM
SPOTLIGHT: Trends in Social Innovation

Tonya Surman, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation

The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) has evolved as a dynamic space with a mission to catalyze, connect and support new ideas that are changing the world. This was an exciting session whose ideas tied with our belief in the library's value as a public meeting place. We're a community space that provides context while allowing for connection and conversation. Somewhat like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Surman described a pyramid with space as the base, which allows supports community in the mid-range, which allows for innovation at the peak. By this thinking libraries are well positioned to support innovation within our local communities. She also stressed the importance of considering multiple bottom lines when measuring success, including social and creative results.

Session 1304 Secret Shoppers: Service Lessons for Libraries
Rebecca Jones, Dysart & Jones Associates

Secret shopper programs help us determine how patrons really see us, our spaces and collections (both physical and virtual). "Secret" sounds sneaky and that is not the intent. This is not a "gotcha" exercise but a way to examine the user experience. Use something like "delightful" user experience instead of the pedantic "got their needs met." Useful too because we are currently only getting feedback from those that know we're there. This is about seeing us as others see us.

A survey of this kind needs to be done over a series of months and is a very structured approach that engages the staff. Under no circumstances should you be secretive with the staff in this process. You need goals and clear objectives and don't try and do everything at once. What do we want the secret shopper to do/search/ask? Tie your objectives to your strategic plan and have staff input into the objectives.

The results should be useable and nothing is confidential. Take time to work with staff to frame the questions. You can't argue with results that are unbiased and there is always an assumption that the feedback will be negative but there are wonderful things in the report as well.

When we get feedback we don't like, we need to examine it. It's because we feel ownership that we tend to get defensive but the space and stuff isn't ours - it belongs to the community.

This process is not about reprimanding, it is about enhancing the user experience. Rhonda

Session 1324 - Beam me up, Enterprise Centre! Dean
This session, lead by librarians from Halton Hills and Richmond Hill, plus a regional advisor from the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, talked about cooperating with local enterprise centres. Ours is the BACD.

The Halton centre does a lot of programming from the Halton Hills library, but their centre is in Oakville, so there's a geographic reason to use the library as a North Halton satellite office. They're also in the process of creating a separate meeting / study room for business meetings and one-on-one consultations. In Richmond Hill, a library staffer sits on the local EC board.

Overall, it's about building a strong relationship. The RHPL librarian actually spent time working at the BACD office over a summer and gained a good understanding of their clientele. They had some tips for building a relationship:

  • the library will have to do the approaching
  • visit regularly
  • invite them to the library
  • invite them to host workshops, etc.
  • attend their events
  • link from our website
  • refer patrons
  • display literature
  • host EC collections

We already do a lot of this - the BACD is here every two weeks to do a seminar and refer patrons there. The BACD contact (Wenda) does an awesome job highlighting library resources, although a reference staffer usually attends and introduces her. The possibility of joining their Board is an interesting idea, though. All in all, it was a useful presentation and there were some good ideas.

Session #1325- Book Club Refresher- Presented by Chris Sheehy, Branch Librarian, Markham Public Library and Sharron Smith, Manager of Readers’ Advisory Services, Kitchener Public Library
(Submitted by: Sandra Walters)

This session focused on ideas for starting and maintaining a book club for adults. Lots of great ideas and tips and tricks were shared.

A useful website to check out: http://www.canadianbookclubs.com/start.html

Book Club Basics:
•Best size is 8-12 members
•Advertise everywhere- grocery stores, coffee shops, Seniors Centres, local apartments/condos, Welcome Wagon, online e.g. Canadian Book Clubs offers free advertising
•Leader picks books for the first sessions and then you can gather input from the group and choose them based on consensus of the group.
•Program room or out in the open- can encourage others to join if they see you meeting
•Can do book clubs for children, teens, or adults
•Some groups have a leader to facilitate questions and discussion
•Give them a book discussion guide (found online on publishers websites, Novelist etc.) when you hand out books
•Get as many copies of the book as possible and check out to a book club card with an extended loan period (6 weeks is ideal).
•Print out and give out copies of reviews, author bios, etc. with each book.
•As book club leader you only speak to fill in gaps or to encourage discussion.
•Refreshments are very important so supply them or work out a rotating system.

The Keys to Success:
•Don’t allow discussions to become to heated
•If members don’t like the book just tell them to read as much as possible and be ready to backup their opinions.
•Relax and let things flow.
•Make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak if they want to.

Saturday, February 5

Session #1809- Meet the Seniors with Stephen Abram, VP Strategic Partnerships and Markets, Gale Cengage Learning; Peter Rogers, Retired; a panel of seniors
(Submitted by: Sandra Walters)

I thought this session was brilliant and it was so interesting to listen to the panel of seniors answer questions and explain their thoughts on a variety of topics related to technology, social media, and how they use and view libraries.

Here are some of the highlights from the discussion:
•Listen to a variety of music in a variety of formats including: CDs, IPAD, and the majority listen to the radio (CBC, 102.1 The Edge, 740AM Talk Radio)
•Only one of the 7 seniors listens to an MP3 player.
•One senior has a Kobo reader.

Library Service:
•An event to go to the library
•Quality= forgiveness of fines
•Should be easier to access the email addresses and names of library staff- it feels top secret
•Like the familiarity of the library
•Knowledgeable people
•Prefer the smaller more intimate libraries
•Order everything online and pick up
•DVDs are great because they are free
•New releases are excellent, even if you have to wait 3-6 weeks to get them, much better than having to purchase them
•Like having suggestions heard and being able to give feedback
•Like the information in the catalogue and being able to place holds
•Like the bestseller lists
•Not computer literate so prefer the paper lists
•Programs are great- discussion groups, Chess clubs
•Graphic novels
•Wishes there were more comfy armchairs
•Turn the fireplaces on! Wishes they were real fires…
•Computers are great because no home computer
•Go to several branches- if there is a good program no issues with travelling to get there
•Too busy in retirement to borrow books
•Dissatisfaction levels with new policies
•Noise levels have really increased which is a major deterrent and discouraging- would much rather a quiet place
•Computer limits of 1 hour are hard and need to concentrate to make the most of the time
•Eating in the library= gross because people bring in whole meals and this leads to greasy items and keyboards= very unpleasant
•Kids have taken over
•Resent youth not having to pay fines- seniors should have the same perks
•Like having complaints followed up on by Managers- receiving phone calls following up on their complaints make them feel heard and that they matter
•Focus too much on attracting new customers, not maintaining old ones
•Love all the new seniors programs offered @ some branches
•Love ILLO’s
•Don’t know about access to online databases, nobody on the panel knew you could access these from home…

•5 out of the 7 seniors have Internet at home, of the 2 that don’t- one uses the computers at the library everyday and the other uses the library computers 3 times per week.
•2 out of 7 have Facebook pages; one that does have it doesn’t use it often because it can be confusing.

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